Ireland to ban all tobacco advertising

posted at 1:01 pm on June 1, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

If you don’t succeed with a frontal attack, try a flanking maneuver. That seems to be the theory of the World Health Organization (WHO), anyway. Having not made a lot of ground on their efforts to institute an international tax on cigarettes, it appears that their next strategy will be to get everyone to forbid the tobacco industry from advertising. Anywhere. Even on their own product packaging.

WHO calls for total ban on tobacco advertising

MANILA, May 30 (Xinhua) — The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, saying that the tobacco companies’ ” aggressive marketing” has led to addiction killing at least 6 million people worldwide each year.

In a statement issued Thursday, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr. Shin Young-soo cited the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as saying governments around the world “must comprehensively ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.”

As the title of this column indicates, this effort has apparently already found some sympathetic ears across the pond. Ireland – an otherwise frequently sensible nation – seems ready to squat down on the free market kick some butts. (pun intended)

All trademarks, logos, colours and graphics will be removed from tobacco products sold in Ireland under the new rules, the health ministry said, after the proposal secured backing from the government.

Dr James Reilly, the country’s health minister, said while many arguments will be made against the move, he is confident the legislation will be justified and supported purely by the fact that it will save lives.

All we need is a few more people like the Deplorable Nanny State Mayor here in the United States, and you too can enjoy the benefits of these policies. But you’ll notice one thing they have in common. They’re still not trying to outlaw the products or say that adults can’t buy them. They’re just taking off the labeling and stopping them from promoting their products anywhere. None of this makes a pack of smokes less available, but simply stops the various manufacturers from competing effectively against each other in the same market space.

This “feel good” style of legislation obviously gives nanny state activists reason to cheer, pat themselves on the back and justify all the money they raise and spend, but it has no substantive effect beyond that. And what of the companies who are marketing products with lower levels of tar and other problematic components to reduce health risks? Might you not want them to have a fair shot at promoting their alternative products? Apparently not. But then again, that’s not what this has been about all along.

Meanwhile, in other nanny state smoking news, Minnesota already passed a new cigarette tax, with California and Massachusetts considering the same. That should really boost their revenue, eh? As we’ve tried to tell them here over and over, not so much.

Pew States: Cigarette Smuggling Cuts States’ Per-Pack Tax Revenues

In 2010, states with high tobacco taxes lost about $5 billion in revenue because of cigarette smuggling, according to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. Experts say the number is climbing.

Most of the black market in cigarettes is between low-tax states and high-tax states: Smugglers purchase cigarettes in a low-tax state and transport them to a high-tax state. Then they sell them at a discount to smokers while still pocketing a healthy profit. Because there is such a wide disparity among states’ cigarette taxes, the price differential is well worth the risk of smuggling, according to law enforcement officials.

But hey… don’t listen to us. You just keep right on plucking that chicken, folks.


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“Ah, give us a pack of them fags.”

“Which fags, filtered or unfiltered.”

“Filtered, might as well be safe.”

Wander on June 1, 2013 at 1:15 PM

But you’ll notice one thing they have in common. They’re still not trying to outlaw the products or say that adults can’t buy them.

Jazz — this called having your cake and eating it, too. If everyone in the US quit smoking today, 50 state budgets would take a hell of a hit. I don’t know about the other 49 states, but I know that at least 50% of the money coming to Nebraska from the cigarette companies in order to fund cease-smoking programs goes into the general funds where it is used for anything but. Not to mention how much Nebraska taxes each pack — then charges a 5.5% sales tax on each pack, including those taxes. I don’t think Omaha has a special tax on smokes, but it does collect its own 1.5% sales tax per pack.

catsandbooks on June 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

FL:
Cigarette tax: $1.34 on each pack of 20 cigarettes. There is also a surcharge for other tobacco products (excluding cigars) equal to 60% of the wholesale price.

This^ supports children’s medicaid here. Fr the children! Us evil smokies.

Jazz — this called having your cake and eating it, too. If everyone in the US quit smoking today, 50 state budgets would take a hell of a hit. catsandbooks on June 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Oh yes it would..I would also love to see it.
Why they are eyeing electronic cigs for taxing. I personally know of several people who switched..and it is working!

bazil9 on June 1, 2013 at 1:30 PM

The Irish used to be the sane and fun ones.

I don’t smoke but this is crazy.

Europe always borrows the bad things from America.

America always borrows the bad things from Europe.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 1:32 PM

To be clearer…the US doesn’t have such a law, yet, just Bloomberg working on it.

Australia does.

Leftists are tyrannical, always.

Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I’m not familiar with Ireland’s constitution. But that seems highly… dubious in its legality. How can you ban a product from putting its name on its own product?!

MikeknaJ on June 1, 2013 at 1:34 PM

The Irish used to be the sane and fun ones.
Schadenfreude on June 1, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I know Schad..wtf!
I had to reverse my claddagh ring..

bazil9 on June 1, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Australia…decline in smoking credit given to….

“Why have smoking rates among the general population declined so dramatically over recent decades?”

-”It is likely that the decline in smoking rates during recent decades has occurred as a result of concerted and sustained government tobacco control strategies such as high tobacco taxes, advertising bans, mass media public education campaigns and smoke-free environments legislation.”
http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/31901/reduce-risks/smoking-reduce-risks/tobacco-facts/statistics-on-smoking-in-australia/?pp=36576

bazil9 on June 1, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Expect the wailing over dropping tax revenues to begin shortly thereafter…

That’s the nub of if it… they hate, but lust after the money it brings to their pet projects (and the coffers of the state).

CPT. Charles on June 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

That’s the nub of if it… they hate, but lust after the money it brings to their pet projects (and the coffers of the state).

CPT. Charles on June 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

This^^

bazil9 on June 1, 2013 at 1:51 PM

If the Irish experience was like that here in the US, the major tobacco companies probably lobbied in favor of banning advertising. Instead of RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris spending millions advertising their brands, resulting mostly in canabalization of other of their own brands, now they can sell their flagship brands without needing to worry about their own brand image.

Non-smokers on the forum, consider this: if you wanted to buy a pack of smokes tomorrow and there weren’t any labels on the boxes, what would you ask for? Probably one of the big international brands like Marlboro or Camel. If you said you didn’t care what the girl behind the counter gave you, what do you think you’d end up with? Probably also one of the big international brands.

Ergo, this is a big win for the big tobacco companies, and a loss for the smaller upstarts (and the freedoms of speech and trade). Again.

hicsuget on June 1, 2013 at 1:55 PM

In 2010, states with high tobacco taxes lost about $5 billion in revenue because of cigarette smuggling

The same would result if people quit, which is one of the alleged aims of the high taxes, right? So what are they complaining about?

Liam on June 1, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Dúr é dúr mar a dhéanann

Stupid is as stupid does

workingclass artist on June 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

If the Irish experience was like that here in the US, the major tobacco companies probably lobbied in favor of banning advertising.

With so many of the lefty causes, it’s the big companies that are on board, seeking to drive out smaller competitors by increasing their costs through regulations that can be more easily absorbed by large organizations.

It’s also true in diversity hiring. The biggest firms benefit by (a) having their pick of minority candidates, and (b) having enough excess manpower so that if there is a weakness in a hire, they can cover for it. Smaller companies simply don’t have that margin of error; they have to make every executive hire pay its way.

bobs1196 on June 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I think all the tobacco companies should just get together and agree to not sell tobacco products for one month. Watch the fun begin.

kh6zv9 on June 1, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Either ban the product or deny government funded health care for smoking related illnesses.

I think all the tobacco companies should just get together and agree to not sell tobacco products for one month. Watch the fun begin.

kh6zv9 on June 1, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Six months and you’ve got a deal.

unclesmrgol on June 1, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Big surprise. The same country that bans abortion also arbitrarily bans other stuff. This is what we call a nanny state.

Armin Tamzarian on June 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Six million die from smoking-related causes worldwide each year.

OK.

According to the “abortion clock” about 40 million babies are aborted each year.

http://www.numberofabortions.com/

Not saying that tobacco is good for you, but neither is pot-smoking or excessive drinking. And as is always the case, some things affect people differently. In the end, something’s going to getcha anyway.

I’ve known so many people who don’t smoke and they’re coughing and wheezing, always down with something, yeah, just the picture of health.

People are always astonished when they learn I smoke. I guess I’m supposed to look like one of those unfortunate people they have on those ads to dissuade people from smoking.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 1, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Either ban the product or deny government funded health care for smoking related illnesses.

Why stop there?
Alcohol
RX /Drugs
Sexual
High risk activities/products
salt
sugar
fat
related illnesses/injuries/conditions

we can go on.

bazil9 on June 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM

catsandbooks on June 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Actually Omaha just added a 3 percent tax on tobacco last year, supposedly to pay for the new cancer center at UNMC.

Gianni on June 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Armin Tamzarian on June 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM

You really are an amoral idiot, aren’t you?

hicsuget on June 1, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Interesting thought.

Here’s another thought. Why might this not also lead to state brand cigarettes? In some countries, at least. After all, the big brands would probably consolidate if this occurred everywhere. Eventually, the state could step in to, say… stop price collusion? Then it’s simply a few more steps to nationalizing the remaining manufacturers. Not saying it is the goal, but that it’s a thought to ponder.

GWB on June 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Ireland has long led the anti-smoking crusade (funny stat in that when the pub smoking ban went into effect, the pub business went into a tail-spin and the number of house fires sky-rocketed). Ireland is pretty much a “roll your own” country due to the excise taxes. My guess is that WHO is using Ireland (again) as their foothold into eliminating smoking world wide. I don’t think it will work (and I wonder whether they shouldn’t concentrate on stuff like malaria and AIDS that shortens life expectancy much faster than tobacco).

teejk on June 1, 2013 at 4:25 PM

catsandbooks on June 1, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Actually Omaha just added a 3 percent tax on tobacco last year, supposedly to pay for the new cancer center at UNMC.

Gianni on June 1, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Yeah — I forgot about that. Since I quit smoking over a decade ago, I tend to ignore that stuff any more. I assume smoking will be banned at the cancer center built by cigarette taxes just like smoking was banned at Memorial Stadium built by cigarette taxes.

That extra 3% tax will incentivize Omaha people to pick up their smokes in Council Bluffs at the same time they are filling their gas tanks while coming or going from the casinos.

catsandbooks on June 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

…see!…the Irish are always desperately drunk!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Just came back from Ireland visiting the relatives. I was struck at how very much the government controls populace’s lives. This doesn’t surprise me in the least.

NavyMustang on June 1, 2013 at 5:17 PM

They’re just taking off the labeling and stopping them from promoting their products anywhere. None of this makes a pack of smokes less available, but simply stops the various manufacturers from competing effectively against each other in the same market space.

How long before some enterprising tobacconist comes up with a label code to aid identification for retail? (E.g., Rothmans gets a blue dot, Benson & Hedges gets a yellow dot, Players gets a black one, etc.) And how long before other retailers adopt the same method for convenience’s sake?

Removing all trademarks, logos, colors, and graphics will accomplish nothing other than annoying customers and retailers.

jix on June 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

If you are buying packaged ciggys (with the exception of a few brands), you are probably smoking a mixture of real tobacco and “sheet” tobacco which is pretty much wood chips and other crap which are flavored and treated with a variety of chemicals.
I doubt if many people in Ireland smoke pure tobacco without additives. Government intervention in legal products! Reminds me of a story I saw on the news the other day about obesity in schools. The lady they interviewed probably tipped the scales at 250-300lbs.

Why stop there?
Alcohol
RX /Drugs
Sexual
High risk activities/products
salt
sugar
fat
related illnesses/injuries/conditions

What’s next?

tbear44 on June 1, 2013 at 6:06 PM

I’m by no means a fan of the European Union. But isn’t regulation of products by individual member countries something that the EU was designed to get rid of? Why is Ireland allowed to prohibit cigarette package designs that would be legal in the rest of the EU?

J.S.K. on June 1, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Armin Tamzarian

This is what we call a sociopath.

xblade on June 1, 2013 at 6:26 PM

You really are an amoral idiot, aren’t you?

GWB

Especially the idiot part.

xblade on June 1, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Ireland…a sensible nation… Right…aside from the Taliban abortion laws that kill women.

kkaneff79 on June 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM

The Irish today are hopeless liberals. Backed the wrong horse in WWII (only just apologized to Irish men whom they persecuted for fighting alongside the rest of Britain against Hitler). Some of noisy ones have tremendous bigotry towards the English today, based on selective readings of history going back to the English Civil War (which wasn’t specially about Ireland).

More recently, due to their liberal lust for taxation, lost a generation of young productive people in the “scattering” (left for Thatcher’s Britain and Reagan’s USA) they spent themselves into servitude to the EU, so their best days are behind them.

virgo on June 1, 2013 at 9:53 PM

catsandbooks on June 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Or Papillion, La Vista and Bellevue, they are in Sarpy County which Omaha has no control over. Which is why they only raised it 3% instead of the 7% they originally wanted to raise it.

Gianni on June 2, 2013 at 12:16 AM

Ireland to ban all tobacco advertising

A clear example of “no butt oblige.”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on June 2, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Either ban the product or deny government funded health care for smoking related illnesses.

Why stop there?
Alcohol
RX /Drugs
Sexual
High risk activities/products
salt
sugar
fat
related illnesses/injuries/conditions

we can go on.

bazil9 on June 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM

You forgot guns!

SwabJockey on June 2, 2013 at 5:43 AM

I say ban Lucky Charms!

Sherman1864 on June 2, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Smokers gonna smoke.

Sherman1864 on June 2, 2013 at 7:05 AM

At what point does that become a violation of free speech?

Isn’t “buy my product” a form of expression? Obviously Ireland doesn’t have first amendment protections but I would assume they have something similar.

Karmashock on June 2, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Karmashock on June 2, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Actually, no. It’s part of the US exceptionality – it’s not very common for nations to actually write out their articles of founding and the rights of citizens. Most of the world has a tribal and feudal history and many countries have not really evolved from it.

virgo on June 3, 2013 at 3:07 AM